Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Value of the week: Salmone Affumicato @ Drago Centro

The bar at Drago Centro is a favorite of mine, both for the talents of Head Bartender Jaymee Mandeville and Beverage Director Michael Shearin as well as the great deals on Celestino Drago's delicious bar bites menu. I have had the margherita pizza ($4) several times as well as the kobe hamburger sliders ($7), but this week had the il salmone affumicato ($5) for the first time and it was great. It is described as "smoked salmon, crème, crostini", which are the three components you see in the picture above when the dish is served on a wooden board.  The portion is much larger than expected and the salmon has a great smoky flavor and a pleasant texture.  The toasted warm crostini with the cool crème and the salmon is a classic combination that is well executed here.  If you add a fried artichoke or the margherita pizza (each $4) you have enough food for a meal, which is amazing in that part of downtown, let alone the rest of Los Angeles to get a dinner of properly executed quality ingredient food composed into good dishes and with waiter service for $9 ++.   That is even in the budget for Midtown Lunch!

The cocktail program is also of note.  There are four specialty cocktails available for only $5 each and Jaymee and Michael have created a list of over a dozen cocktails, either new or old classics for $12.  They will be launching their new Autumn cocktail list next Tuesday October 12, so go check it out.  They take a lot of care in crafting and curating the bar program and it shows.  The salmon is a screaming deal, so get it while you can.

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